Calif. Court: Termination Fees On Cell Contracts Illegal - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-07-30, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Calif. Court: Termination Fees On Cell Contracts Illegal

Quote:
In a clear victory for mobile phone consumers, a California judge on Tuesday ruled that charges for early termination of cell phone contracts violate state law.

In a preliminary ruling in a class-action case challenging the fees, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw ordered Sprint Nextel (S) to pay California mobile customers $18.2 million. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the decision is the first in the country to declare the fees illegal and could affect other similar lawsuits. The judge also told the company to stop trying to collect $54.7 million from consumers who haven not paid termination fees the company had assessed.
I wonder if it will happen in Canada.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-07-30, 04:23 PM
 
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doubt it.....
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-07-30, 05:23 PM
 
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Another rule from California about mobile phones...


I don't get it. What's the point of a contract if you can cancel with no pentalty??

Won't the company lose now? Giving away free/discounted phones on contracts, then people can just cancel a month later....

I don't get it! The only thing I can think of is that this text is misleading and they haven't actually removed the fees altogether, and maybe they just had issues with how Sprint was charging them (i.e. not pro-rating or something..).. it doesn't really specify.. but I can't see there being no fees whatsoever for any cell company in California.. just wouldn't make sense.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-07-30, 06:10 PM
 
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Then there won't be free or discounted phones anymore in California? That's great for the consumer, because then you buy your phone and take it to whatever provider you want.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-07-30, 07:12 PM
 
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Location: Regina, SK, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexsloth View Post
Then there won't be free or discounted phones anymore in California? That's great for the consumer, because then you buy your phone and take it to whatever provider you want.
I guess that depends on how you define great.

You can buy unlocked GSM phones now and use them on Rogers or Fido. They are significantly more expensive than unlocked phones, although the advantage of easily being able to use prepaid SIMs in other countries is very nice. You also get more control over the use of the device because the firmware generally is set to enable all features, whereas providers often disable certain features.

If Canada banned termination fees then carriers would stop subsidizing phones. This would mean higher up-front costs for consumers, although monthly rates might drop slightly to make up for the lack of subsidy.

Consumers would have more ability to change service, but at a cost. Smart consumers already have this choice if they avoid the CDMA providers (although you can buy used CDMA phones to get a similar advantage).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-08-01, 04:33 AM
 
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The extent to which cellphones are subsudized is exagerated and the "retail" price from which phones are discounted with contracts are about as reasonable as Monster Cables.

There are several Nokia models I could build entirely from service parts for less than Rogers no-contract price.

I hate the way hardware and service are bundled in North America,

Toshiba 40RV525R with HD-A3 HD-DVD, DSR505 and Xbox 360
Sportster 5 and Boombox with Best of XM
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